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Hartford man appears in court charged with 3 cold case murders

HARTFORD -- The man accused in three Hartford cold case murders from Summer 2008 faced a judge on Friday.

In Hartford Superior Court, bail for Harold Peterson, 34 of Hartford, was set at $3 million.

Peterson is accused of fatally shooting one man in June of 2008 then using the same gun to kill two more men in an unrelated incident two months later. He was arrested Thursday after an investigation by the Cold Case Unit of the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, along with Hartford Police.

Patterson is charged with three counts of murder in the shooting death of Raymond “Flip” Hite on June 5, on Acton Street in Hartford and the unrelated shooting deaths of Lamar Gresham and Carlos Ortiz on August 25 on Edwards Street in Hartford.

According to the arrest warrant, Hite, 34, had been shot multiple times when police found him lying in the street just before 12:30 a.m. He died a short time later at Hartford Hospital.

Gresham, 21, and Ortiz, 23, were found wounded around 3:15 a.m. in a drive-by shooting as they were walking along Edwards Street. Both died later that morning at Hartford Hospital.

According to the arrest warrants, subsequent investigation determined that shell casings found at the scene of all three homicides were fired from the same gun, which was also linked to two other shooting incidents in Hartford in June and August of 2008. The gun has not been recovered, according to the warrant.

“In January, this one was reopened. Obviously he was a suspect in three homicides,” said Deputy Chief Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department. “Some new information had developed over the course of the years, evidence was reexamined based on several factors and the detectives were able to make an arrest on all three.”

Court documents reveal Patterson was a suspect from the start. In 2012, his own brother-in-law confessed to police that Patterson was the one responsible for the 2008 murders. Then just last year, eye witnesses came forward and gave statements to police describing the shootings and Patterson’s involvement.

“Recently we had been contacted by the cold case detectives, so I was hoping that they were on to something,” said Ortiz’s mother Maria Galindo outside of court.

Galindo told Fox 61 she got the phone call on Thursday telling her police had finally made an arrest.

She said, “The best thing I’ve heard in eight years what I’ve been waiting for for a really long time. I didn’t know I’d live to see the day and here we are. Thank God that the cold case detectives took this on and finally got us justice.”